Current Issues

The United States Department of Justice today, according to published reports, denied every request from American songwriters to ease restrictions found in the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, World War II-era restrictions imposed by the federal government on the two largest American performing rights societies (PRO’s).

Comments from Bart Herbison Executive Director, Nashville Songwriters Association International, in response to the decision regarding “PRO Licensing of Jointly Owned Works” by the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division

NSAI supports the recent legislation introduced by Rep. Jeffries and Rep. Marino. We applaud and appreciate their support of the songwriting community.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries & Republican Rep. Tom Marino Propose Copyright Claims Board to Help Artists Protect Their Life’s Work

Congressmen Doug Collins (GA), Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Trent Franks (AZ), Judy Chu (CA) and Steve Cohen (TN), all members of the House Judiciary Committee, recently submitted a letter to U.S. Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch about their concerns regarding the recent DOJ ruling. Click here to read their letter.

The below letter was written to the CEO of Sony Records on August 3, 2016.

Dear Mr. Morris,

OFFICIAL WRITTEN RULING FINALLY ISSUED FROM DOJ REGARDING 100% LICENSING
The below statement has been issued by NSAI Board President and songwriter, Lee Thomas Miller on August 4, 2016. 

CLICK TO THE READ THE OFFICIAL DOJ RULING

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) today sent a letter to dozens of artists signed under the Sony Music Entertainment (SME) umbrella drawing their attention to a move by SME to devalue songwriter streaming mechanical royalties.

Dear Sony Music Entertainment Artist:

Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) rate court Judge Louis Stanton issued a ruling overturning mandatory 100% licensing ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice. This means performing rights organization (PRO) BMI does NOT have to comply with 100% licensing, unless DOJ files an appeal and is victorious. The ruling does not apply to ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers).

THE NATIONAL MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ ASSOCIATION, NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL AND SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE CRB SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided to appeal a ruling by BMI Rate Court Judge Louis Stanton who overturned DOJ’s interpretation of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees--where DOJ mandated the practice of 100% licensing. NSAI President, songwriter Lee Thomas Miller said:

NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison is Newest Member of Copyright Alliance National Board of Directors

Washington, D.C. – The Copyright Alliance, which represents the copyright interests of over 1.8 million individual creators and more than 13,000 organizations across the spectrum of copyright disciplines, announced the addition of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) as its newest member.   

NSAI filed comments this week in response to a white paper released earlier this month by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee entitled “Reform of the U.S. Copyright Office.” NSAI applauds Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers for their leadership in this important matter. You can see our submission here.

The U.S. House of Representatives today adopted new rules to select the U.S. Register of Copyrights.  H.R. 1695 requires a process to choose three nominees for the President to select from, one of whom would be appointed as U.S. Register of Copyrights to serve a ten-year term.  The bill removes the appointment for the Librarian of Congress.  The next step is approval by the U.S. Senate.

Alexander Tells Justice Department Official How Nashville Songwriters are Harmed by 76 Year Old Consent Decrees
Warns that Department’s interpretation of consent decrees “would turn the common, ordinary, everyday practice of songwriting in Nashville upside down.”